Friday, February 26, 2010

The List Laws.

Having done more than a year of countdowns and knowing how well they work, I thought it would be useful to create a guide to making one. While making a countdown can be easy, making a good one requires time and effort, which is something many assemblers don't apply. Notably the ones who work for IGN.

This list can apply to any sort of list you make, whether it be for Youtube Poops or personal things like favorite movies, books, or actors.

1. Always start with the best. The first and most important rule. Never make a countdown starting with the ten slot. It's sloppy and makes your list look disheveled. The whole point of making a countdown is to build up to number one, and the best way to do that is to list your first, second, third, and so on. By starting at ten you are no longer making a countdown; you are making a scatterplot.

2. If #1 was never made, #2 should fill that role. It's an obvious rule, but one a lot of people forget. This doesn't just apply to #1s and #2s though, but to 8s and 9s, 34s and 35s, etc.

3. Know your choices inside and out. If you're making a countdown, you're assumed to be an expert on the subject. Therefore, make sure you know everything about your selections.

4. Listen to your second thoughts. Your doubts are your friends. If you feel you made a mistake somewhere, go see where you made it and if it's a mistake at all. By second guessing yourself, you are pushing yourself to make a better list.

5. Try not to miss a thing. One thing I do occasionally throughout the month is recheck my subscriptions to see if I missed a video somewhere. Sometimes it's a waste of time, other times I pick up on gems I missed, and that happens often since I'm subscribed to so many people. When it comes to constructing lists of personal favorites, a lot of "headhunting" is required. Like say if you were to make a Top Ten Favorite Comedians list. You've thought of every one that comes to mind, and just as you're about to show it to people you suddenly remember you forgot about the legendary Bill Cosby. Mistakes like these are all too common, and it's best you know all your choices.

6. Your opinion is always fluctuating. Your list may look good to you today, but after a couple of days you will start to think, "Maybe A is better than B". That is why I take my time with these lists. I want to make sure my mind is settled on one flat decision. Which leads to my next rule...

7. It's okay to change your mind. If over a period of time you have a change of heart over a decision, do not be afraid to say so and make that change. If your list is unchangeable, simply tell them what you really think when someone mentions something involving your choice.

8. Critics are never idiots. Feedback is important, even for personal opinions. It's always good to listen to what people have to say and ask them what they think, or tell them what you were thinking. After all, your list is a way of conveying your personal opinion, so explain your reasoning whenever you get the chance.

9. Everything has its quirks. Getting back to knowing your choices inside and out, it's really easy to to forget the properties that make a certain selection special. This is something I have to remember as I'm dealing with a form of art that has many styles. I must remember what makes this Poop good while watching another one. That helps me judge A from B.

10. Ten is a narrow number. When it comes to Top Tens, many people forget what the 10 spot really is. If you put something at #10, you are saying that it is better than everything else except the following nine spots. This rule also applies to viewing a Top Ten. It's easy to discredit that spot because countdowns tend to "run over" everything on the way to #1, #10 most of all.

11. Shove guilty pleasures aside. Unless you really think it's good. For the best example we turn to Pimpsahoy, who treated the #10 spot like crap for over a year.

12. Style isn't everything. Just because you have a flashy intro and numbers doesn't make you the best. It's your choices that matter. The graphics are just an added luxury. I never found it necessary to added flashy effects to the Top Ten, mostly because I don't know how to make them. It doesn't make a difference to me though, just as long as I make good choices.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Behind the scenes.

Some people have asked about how a Top Ten is made, as well as what sort of criteria I base my judgements upon. This should give some insight into what goes on behind the scenes and hopefully answer some questions people have wanted to know about me.

First off, KevinTAckerman is not my main account, which most of you might have guessed. I have three accounts: One for regular videos, another for Youtube Pooper subscriptions, and KevinTAckerman. My "regular videos" are not Poops, and I have not planned on making any in the future. I am a vlogger with quite a few fans, and my videos are for film and political criticism and art study. I'd rather not say who I am because I prefer my main account to have nothing to do with Youtube Poop whatsoever. KevinTAckerman is not my real name, but an alias I decided to go by.

As I said before, my second account is for Youtube Pooper subscriptions. I do not risk subbing to Poopers with my main account because I were to ever lose it, I would lose the people I have subscribed to. Resubbing would be too much of a hassle and I would most likely forget the people I subbed to. I have no videos on this account; its sole purpose is for subscriptions.

KevinTAckerman is the Top Ten account. It is linked to a Gmail address which allows me to watch sent and shared videos without having to log in. That is why it is rarely logged into; it's hardly necessary.

Now about the Top Tens. Every day, or whenever I can access a computer, I log into my secondary account to check the day's new videos. Poops that are eligible for the next Top Ten are sent to a playlist which is reviewed later in the month, but I'll get to that in a sec. It is very important that I log into my secondary as much as possible because with so many subscriptions, I have to check to make sure I see every video.

For a Poop to be eligible for a Top Ten, it must be within range of the previous Top Ten's #10 pick. Otherwise I ignore it. I accept many styles, including Flash. Poops that are not accepted, however, are Tennis Rounds, except serves. The reason I don't accept Tennis Rounds is because they are not solo projects, which are the Poops I prefer to showcase. Round 1 videos have been edited by only one person, so therefore they are eligible.

YTPMV's are another thing I don't showcase. If a good majority of a Poop is music video, I don't accept it. That is not to say I don't like YTPMV's, but again, It's not what I'm after.

Also, collaborations which include works by other people are uneligible unless the original creator has uploaded their video seperately. If I showcased a Poop not from a solo project but from a collab, and it has not been uploaded seperately, my only reference would be that collab video. Since the video has works by more than one person, I am essentially tieing the chosen Poop with everyone elses', rather than it alone.

Those are the exceptions. Now I'm guessing you're after what I look for in a Poop. First off, I am open to any and all forms. Stutters, sentence mixing, rape, you name it, I accept it. I try not to be lenient toward some styles, although it does unintentionally appear that way from time to time.

With that being said, I have elected not to reveal my judging criteria.

I mean why in the world would I tell anyone that?! Then I'd have a whole bunch of Poopers sucking up to me and sending me videos that they claim "fit my criteria." No, I don't want that. My Top Tens are not guidelines for other people to follow. They are lists that I have put together that feature, what I believe to be, the best of Poop in all its forms. I don't want people to make Youtube Poops for the sake of trying to get onto my Top Ten. No one should make them for that reason.

My decision is final; I am not giving away any secrets. Don't worry about making it on my Top Tens, just keep doing what you do best and make Poops. Keep this new generation of expressionism moving without the constant worry about what others think. My Top Tens are subtle appreciation. Nothing more.